is copyright Michael Curtis 2010-2023. All Rights Reserved.



Just like you can remember a list of items in sequence by storing them at a sequence of places (eg.The BLOKES System places), you can memorise a pack of cards by having a visual image that means each card of a pack; and you might even imagine a jester to mean the joker card.

One way to do this is to look at the 00 to 99 people images and pick 52 people from there.

Below is a list of consonants and vowels which can construct syllables to match syllables in the 00 to 99 People System; so the 3 of Clubs can be consonant 3 and the vowel for Clubs:

3 is G (see below; Clubs is O. So look up GO person in the 00 to 99 People System: GOrdon.

Prefix Card
Ch Ace
Sh 2
G 3
D 4
N 5
S 6
Z 7
T 8
F 9
B 10
J Jack
L Queen [Lady]
K King

Spades A
Hearts E
Diamonds I
Clubs O

When I implement a system of over 2500 cards (see the article about a 5000 system), I will be on my way to representing two cards in one image. It's unnecessary but would make memorisation faster. In memory sports, people want to shave time off how long it takes them to memorise a pack of cards. So using one image to mean two cards does / would benefit those competitors.

A question which jumps out is: if I am using a peg location image as the place where a card's visual image occurs, can I ever re-use the location for future memorising of something else?

Yes, the aim is for natural forgetfulness to make you very quickly forget the story where the item that represents, say, the Ace of Hearts, occurs at a location like a garden shed. And that implies that, using memory techniques to memorise exam prompts is not a one time exercise: there needs to be revisiting of the imagined scenes to make your memory stronger of which visuals occur at which locations. After the exam, if you stop thinking about that visual story then the story should be gradually forgotten naturally.

Another question is about the picturing of more than one visual item at the same location. You can do that but bear in mind that there is a simplicity to just storing one visdual prompt at one location; and bear in mind that, once a lot of visual images are imagined at one location, it is more of a mental strain. But I definitely think it is reasonable to imagine about 3 exam prompts at a single scene location.

Memorising Cards for Magic Tricks

The letter pairs article presents the idea that one image can represent two letters of the alphabet from AA , AB, AC, ... through to ZZ. There are 26 types of 52 playing cards (I explain below); and so the same system can be used to memorise cards:

If you think of Black Aces as the letter A, Black 7s as the letter G; then the image for AG could also be representing 'a black Ace followed by a black 7'. This would be more rapid than memorising cards one by one but also less specific because, for instance, the recalled Black Ace might be Clubs or Spades - you don't know.

But you could pre-prepare 26 cards of the pack where there is only one black Ace, only one black 7, etc.; and then, if you memorise from that pile of cards, you are left with no doubt which black Ace you are recalling and which black 7 you are recalling.

So you could look, to the spectator, like you are counting out 26 cards but you are really memorising them rapidly; and that leads on to the trick you do: you know every card in sequence in that pile of 26 cards.

Here is a video about it. I made the video before I finalised the following list of card piles:

(so do not expect the cards in the video to match the newer lists below)

Pile A
Pile B

Ace of Spades
Ace of Clubs
Ace of Hearts
Ace of Diamonds
2 of Clubs
2 of Spades
2 of Diamonds
2 of Hearts
3 of Clubs
3 of Spades
3 of Hearts
3 of Diamonds
4 of Spades
4 of Clubs
4 of Diamonds
4 of Hearts
5 of Spades
5 of Clubs
5 of Diamonds
5 of Hearts
6 of Clubs
6 of Spades
6 of Hearts
6 of Diamonds
7 of Clubs
7 of Spades
7 of Diamonds
7 of Hearts
8 of Spades
8 of Clubs
8 of Hearts
8 of Diamonds
9 of Spades
9 of Clubs
9 of Diamonds
9 of Hearts
10 of Clubs
10 of Spades
10 of Hearts
10 of Diamonds
Jack of Clubs
Jack of Spades
Jack of Diamonds
Jack of Hearts
Queen of Spades
Queen of Clubs
Queen of Diamonds
Queen of Hearts
King of Spades
King of Clubs
King of Hearts
King of Diamonds

A Black Ace
B Black 2
C Black 3
D Black 4
E Black 5
F Black 6
G Black 7
H Black 8
I Black 9
J Black 10
K Black Jack
L Black Queen
M Black King
N Red Ace
O Red 2
P Red 3
Q Red 4
R Red 5
S Red 6
T Red 7
U Red 8
V Red 9
W Red 10
X Red Jack
Y Red Queen
Z Red King

But, if you already are using the card system from the start of this article then you would prefer:

Ch Black Ace
Sh Black 2
G Black 3
D Black 4
N Black 5
S Black 6
Z Black 7
T Black 8
F Black 9
B Black 10
J Black Jack
L Black Queen
K Black King
A Red Ace
M Red 2
C Red 3
U Red 4
E Red 5
Y Red 6
V Red 7
H Red 8
I Red 9
O Red 10
W Red Jack
Q Red Queen
R Red King

Three times Three times Three is 27

This section is about how the letter pairs article is a way to memorise 3 cards per letter so that a letter pair represents 3+3=6 cards. I do not mean that you learn a card in terms of suit and numeral but that you learn a choice of 3 options about each card. "Eg. Is it an Ace, a royal card or a numeral?"

A letter pair image can represent 6 cards if you have not just A to Z but a 27th option as well: 27 x 27. Eg. If Sh is thought of as a letter; and you could have ShA, ShB, ShC, .... ShX, ShY, ShZ, ShSh as letter pairs.

Well, not specific cards but three choices of card such as 'Higher, Lower, the same' or 'Numeral, Royal card, Ace'. You could represent any 3 combinations as 27 choices (one of 27 letters); so a letter pair would b3 three choices plus three choices.

So you could memorise 18 cards in terms of whether they are each higher / lower / the same as the previous card; and that 18 sequence would be just 6 + 6 + 6 choices; and so it would be represented visually by three 'letter pair' images.

More three choices:

Red / Black / Joker

Ace of Hearts / Ace of Diamonds / Other card

A 111
B 112
C 113
D 121
E 122
F 123
G 131
H 132
I 133
J 211
K 212
L 213
M 221
N 222
O 223
P 231
Q 232
R 233
S 311
T 312
U 313
V 321
W 322
X 323
Y 331
Z 332
Sh 333

Spotting the Aces

Using the three options of 'Black Ace, Red Ace, Other card', you could quickly look through a pack of cards and memorise (using 6 facts per letter pair) which cards are aces.

Another way of mentally marking the Aces is to have 4 actions. As you look through the pack, if you see an Ace then you can imagine the person who represents that ordinal position in the pack and imagine an action that represents either Aces of Spades / Ace of Hearts / Ace of Diamonds / Ace of Clubs.

So, if at card 33, there is an Ace of Hearts, you would imagine the Ace of Hearts action happening to the standard person image that you use to represent the number 33.

The Spades action could be a person doing a digging motion with a spade.

The Hearts action could be a Valentine's heart throbbing at the person's chest.

The Diamonds action could be a person throwing diamonds into the air joyfullly.

The Clubs action could be a person swinging a baseball bat with a whoosh sound.

Card Counting to Deduce the card removed from a 52 card pack

If you remove a card from a pack and then look through the cards, I think you can do a logical technique to deduce the removed card:

One idea is to associate each card with a number from 1 to 52; so when you see a card you would know rote its number between 1 and 52; well, know its number as a syllable. Eg. BI is 1 (like in the 00-99 People article). You can use a syllable maths method so that two cards expressed as a two syllable word is like adding the two numbers together. If 35 and 47 are added then the answer is 82 but you would subtract 52 to get 30 (a number between 1 and 52); and then do the same process again where syllable one is JO (30) and the next card in the deck acts as the second syllable of the new word; the addition is done again, and so on. You would need to spend time learning the instant resulting card JO follows from seeing the 35 card and the 45 card in sequence. Depending on which card is removed from the pack, the final maths answer should be special to that removed card: it identifies the missing card.

Another approach would be to subtract 50 rather than subtract 52. In some cases, the final number would indicate a choice of cards rather than one specific card; but the maths would be easier.

A letter pair can store 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 options

You already saw how a card could represent 3 x 3 x 3 options such as 'Higher / Lower / Same' or 'Royal / Ace / Numeral'. A letter between A and Y can represent 5x5 choices (=25 options [so 25 letters]). A letter pair is then able to hold 5, 5, 5 and 5 options because it is two letters rather than the 5x5 limit of just one letter.

A subset of that system would be the ability to memorise 4x4x4x4 options by using a letter pair. That creates an interesting possibility involving the two halves of the pack that I listed earlier: where each pile of 26 only has one black 7, not two black 7s, etc.. That is 2 options: does a card which you pick up belong in pile 1 or in pile 2? But you can have a further question: is the card red or black? In that way, a card which you pick up is one of four options: Pile 1 Black, Pile 1 Red, Pile 2 Black, Pile 2 Red. If you memorise the cards which you pick up and memorise which of the 4 options each card is then you could do some good tricks. You could deal out the gathered cards into four seemingly random piles: really piles of Pile 1 Black, Pile 1 Red, Pile 2 Black, Pile 2 Red; and, from there, do a trick that depends on knowing the colour of a card or demonstrate all the reds together and all the blacks together. After that, two of the 4 piles can come together as pile 1 and be shuffled; and two of the 4 piles can be gathered together into pile 2 and be shuffled. Since you know the cards of each pile, you can do tricks where a card from the other pile is introduced to the other pile; and you find it easy to point out which card has been added.